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Stories from the surgery: why e-cigarette nicotine is dangerous for cats and dogs

Stories from the surgery: why e-cigarette nicotine is dangerous for cats and dogs

Petplan veterinary expert Brian Faulkner explores the toxic effects that e-cigarettes can have on your pets.

As more people have turned from smoking cigarettes to ‘vaping’ e-cigarettes, many households now have the devices lying around in places where cats and dogs can easily access them. Unfortunately, e-cigarettes can cause some serious health problems for your pets if they start chewing on them.

It is mostly dogs that end up with poisoning from e-cigarette nicotine and the liquid refill solution, but the devices are also toxic to cats.

What makes e-cigarettes toxic to pets?

Most of the risk of poisoning for animals is from ingesting the e-liquid itself, which contains high levels of nicotine. The issue is that the amount of nicotine in each cartridge contains the equivalent of one to two traditional cigarettes.

The sweet aroma of the liquid nicotine contained in e-cigarettes can be alluring to dogs, and the non-tobacco flavoured e-cigarettes can be particularly enticing. If packets of refill cartridges are left lying around the house and your pet chews them, they might end up consuming a very large amount of nicotine (especially as these packets usually contain five refill cartridges).

As well as the toxicity of nicotine, the actual e-cigarette casing could cause an injury to your pet’s mouth when chewed. It could also cause gastrointestinal upset, with the risk of obstructing the intestine.

Some e-cigarette users buy vials of liquid nicotine solution for refilling e-cigarette cartridges. The small bottles hold enough liquid to fill multiple cartridges, meaning they contain a considerable amount of nicotine.

Signs of nicotine poisoning in cats and dogs

Pets can react to nicotine poisoning very quickly, generally within 15 to 60 minutes following ingestion.

Signs of toxicity in both cats and dogs include agitation, weakness, tremors, blue colouration to mouth and gums, vomiting, diarrhoea, elevations in heart rate and respiration rate, seizures, comas and cardiac arrest.

What to do if a pet is showing signs of nicotine poisoning

If you suspect your pet has ingested nicotine, or any component of an e-cigarette, take them to your vet as soon as possible. Getting veterinary care is essential due to the speed at which nicotine poisoning can occur following ingestion.

The best thing you can do is to prevent the risk of poisoning in the first place. Keep all e-cigarettes, cartridges and vials of refilling solution out of the reach of pets and children.

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A Ball
You are so ignorant you stupid stupid people. 2.5 million people in the UK alone use ecigs instead of smoking which has had a huge decrease in deaths and cancers caused by smoking. Now if people stop using ecigs they will smoke and this is in statistics therefore all those poor pets will be inhaling secondhand smoke again, not a little vaper and nicotine that they are from ecigs. So why don't you start bleating on about the affects that smoking has on animals and stop attacking ecigs when these are clearly doing more good than harm to both humans and animals
Patricia Sanders
do not be ignorant, all this is doing is advising people be careful where they leave the nicotine, I am glad to be told as I would hate to lose a pet to poisoning, it is no different to advising to keep out of reach of children, it is not saying don't use them it is saying be careful because people feel the need to have flavours which could tempt animals or children so grow up and read the whole piece before being critical of the post
carole
A. Ball. How quick you were to defend your habit and you hadn't even read the article properly. Who is the ignorant party here, with all due respect, maybe you should read and digest information before being critical of professionals who have clear evidence of the outcomes, never should anyone decry what is going on in all sorts of research these days.Dogs, cats, small children, they all have the same enquring minds, anything will go into the mouth. Children esp, who see their parents sucking on these adult dummies will only copy cos they think it's the normal thing to do. Nobody is stating that you should give up, just be responsible.
Nat
Well i am an ecig smoker and to be fair you should store the liquid in a safe place. Mine gets put on side were my boy cant get too it. He had one of my bottles once thankfully an empty one that i literally just dropped but if it wasnt n i didnt notice it could of been alot worse. Use your brain people if u have kids would u leave it lying around? Nope.. same with animals if they see something they can grab they will get.. simples.. no rocket science..
Petplan
Hi Nat,Thanks for your comments Nat. We hope you enjoyed our blog post. Please do visit again as we post a new topic weekly. ThanksJade - the Petplan Team
Jim
And this is why E-Liquid bottles clearly state - keep out of the reach of children and pets. This is the equivalent of moaning about the risk of trapping your bear in bear trap that clearly states - keep away from bears you don't want to trap. Absolute pointless click bait at the expense of those trying to quit smoking, trying to push your shitty pet insurance by tapping into a subject of debate.
Elke Schluter
I think all people who have animals and children should make sure not to leave anything laying around what is poison. as an example cigarette user I always make sure my stuff is well out of reach of my work derful dogs.i could not forgive myself if I would find any of my dogs sick because I was uncarefully. lots of people do that care enough these days, what's so sad.as an animal owner we have the same responsibly as parent with kids.so before you get an animal get good information what's poison that includes not only e and cigarette it includes chocolate , gaps , raisins, artificial sugar, and much more.Also I am a smoker, I would never smoke in a room when windows are closed or even in my car.pets inhale the poison and can get very ill.Make sure if u smoke like me, not to smoke around your pets.
Hasse Karlgreen
In the home, a number of cigarettes are used. The cigarettes produce dangerous smoke. It is not only bad for children and non-smoker but it is also not good for pets and animals. The second hand smoking causes many problems to cat and dogs.
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